Culture News

A-Rod and J. Lo Seek Financing in Bid to Drive Mets Fans Insane

The couple are in talks with JPMorgan Chase, who may fund their bid to buy the MLB team

Jennifer Lopez And Alex Rodriguez

Photo by Hahn Lionel/ABACA/Shutterstock

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez may be New York's greatest power couple.

At age 50, J. Lo continues to be one of the most highly-paid entertainers in the world after more than 20 years of fame, while Alex Rodriguez remains the highest-paid baseball player of all time—having earned nearly half a billion dollars in a career that lasted into his 40s. After going out into the world and making names for themselves (names exclusively comprised of their first initials plus the first syllables of their last names), they are bringing that massive wealth back to the city where they were born The Mets.

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Photo by Jose Morales on Unsplash

An irregular blip in the news cycle sees Major League Baseball dominating headlines in the sports world in the middle of winter.

We are approaching that time when players report for Spring Training in warmer climates across the country, but professional baseball is already in the hot seat. In November The Athletic originally broke the story of how the Houston Astros organization had devised and executed an elaborate sign-stealing scheme throughout the 2017 season, which ended with the Astros winning the World Series. Mike Fiers, then a pitcher with the club, confirmed the cheating both in the regular and postseason by using center field cameras to provide real-time feeds to the team's dugout, which allowed them to relay messages to hitters that tipped what pitches were coming.

Major League Baseball's Commissioner, Rob Manfred, had implemented rule changes prior to the start of the 2019 season, as it became known amongst league officials that as many as six teams were potentially using technology to relay signals to their players. The MLB made it very clear that this use of tech wouldn't be allowed under the new rules and that managers and general managers would be held accountable for compliance. On Thursday new, yet unsubstantiated, information came out regarding the Houston Astros' use of "buzzers" that acted as alternative signals for hitters instead of the old method of trash can banging. Photos of what looks like a small device protruding from underneath Jose Altuve's jersey have been circulating across social media platforms, along with plenty of angry takes from MLB players and fans.

The aftermath has brought sweeping punishment for the organization and those associated with it since 2017. A.J. Hinch (manager) and Jeff Luhnow (general manager) of the Houston organization were both fired on January 13, but the scandal's reach wasn't limited to the Astros team. Alex Cora, who was a bench coach with the Astros in 2017, took the role of manager with the Boston Red Sox in 2018 and went on to win a World Series title in his first season with the club. Carlos Beltran played with the Astros in 2017 and just this offseason accepted the role of manager with the New York Mets. Both Cora and Beltran have been relieved of their duties, as well.

The Houston Astros have also had major penalties levied against them, which includes loss of draft picks, the maximum fine of $5 million, and one-year suspensions for both Hinch and Luhnow. The club is currently scrambling to find replacements for them just a few months before the start of the regular season. The Astros players will certainly–and deservedly–receive plenty of criticism, if not hatred, from opposing fans and maybe even opposing players.

Major League Baseball has had many scandals and instances of cheating throughout its history, dating all the way back to 1877 with the Louisville Grays, when some players were found to be intentionally losing games for personal profit. Most recently, the steroid era of baseball has resulted in mandated tests of players for performance-enhancing drugs. Many of the games' greatest historical players have been prevented from being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, including Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, and Roger Clemens.

And then there's Pete Rose.

Rose, Major League Baseball's all-time hits leader, accepted a voluntary lifetime ban from professional baseball on August 24, 1989, for his role in placing bets on his team during his time as the Cincinnati Reds' manager. In his autobiography, My Prison Without Bars, Rose did finally admit to placing bets during that time but only on his team to win. Rose is famously quoted as saying, "I'd walk through hell in a gasoline suit to play baseball," and he played like it, too.

Now he's asked to be reinstated. In a 19-page letter submitted to Rob Manfred, Rose's lawyer makes his case:

"[I]n recent years, intentional and covert acts by current and past owners, managers, coaches, and players altered the outcomes of numerous games, including the World Series, and illegally enhanced both team and player performance," the letter reads. "It has never been suggested, let alone established, that any of Mr. Rose's actions influenced the outcome of any game or the performance of any player. Yet for the thirty-first year and counting, he continues to suffer a punishment vastly disproportionate to those who have done just that.

"Given the manner in which Major League Baseball has treated and continues to treat other egregious assaults on the integrity of the game, Mr. Rose's ongoing punishment is no longer justifiable as a proportional response to his transgressions."

For as much as professional baseball has gotten wrong since its inception, they have a chance to do something right and induct Pete Rose into the Hall of Fame. Last June, Rose told Stuart Varney that he didn't believe that he would ever be inducted into the Hall of Fame while he was alive.

While this is probably still true, baseball could stand some good publicity right now, with current stars embroiled in a widespread cheating scandal. If anything, the flagrant cheating executed by the Astros highlights that it's high time to forgive Rose for his minor indiscretion. If Rob Manfred were to announce the removal of Pete Rose's lifetime ban, it could result in the board of directors of the Baseball Hall of Fame to change their stance on Rose's ban. As Pete Rose approaches 79-years-old, time is running out for him to experience the honor that has been withheld from him as one of baseball's greatest players.

Baseball fans are typically traditionalists and protective over the sanctity of the sport. As Terrance Mann told Ray Kinsella in Field of Dreams, "The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball." But the sad progression of how players and managers desperately gain competitive advantages have blackened the eyes of baseball for the better part of its existence. The national pastime was once held sacred, and every young kid dreamed of stepping up to the plate in Game 7 of the World Series with the bases loaded, their team down by 3 runs in the bottom of the 9th inning. But none of them envisioned hitting that game-winning grand slam with the help of cheating.


Jennifer Lopez

All you need to know.

Full Name: Jennifer Lynn Lopez

Date of Birth: July 24, 1969

Born: Bronx, NY

Occupation: Singer, actress, dancer

Status: Single (divorced)

Children: 2

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And the Video Vanguard Award Goes To… J. Lo, Naturally

The MTV Video Music Awards to Honor Jennifer Lopez August 20th

Jennifer Lopez must be the luckiest lady on the planet.

She is talented, beautiful (possibly ageless), rich, and smart, a mom of seemingly well-adjusted celeb kids, and dating one of the most desirable dudes in America. That would be "A-Rod" if you live under a rock. Just when you thought the triple-threat had it all, the kind folks at MTV felt she needed another feather in her (designer) cap.

Jennifer Lopez and Alex RodriguezPhoto by Shutterstock

So, later this month during the 2018 MTV VMAs, the very special Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award will be presented to Lopez, giving her prime-time props of epic proportions thanks to her "contributions to the world of music videos." As MTV shared, "The Bronx native will be accepting her award and performing some of her greatest hits live!" Surely Mr. Rodriguez will be right there in the front row cheering on his main squeeze, and fans worldwide will be in frenzy when the always-amazing J. Lo does her thing for the live audience and those tuning in from their living rooms. And by the way, Lopez has not performed live at the VMAs since 2001, as per Time. She must have been waiting for just the right moment to hit the stage again, making '18 the pinnacle of her perfection.

The first Vanguard awards were given out at the first VMAs in '84. To honor the incomparable Michael Jackson, the award was renamed in '91. While we remember the artists who've claimed this coveted award, note that is also sometimes given to music video directors and creators who are behind the lens, making magic to go along with the music.

For a little MTV music history, the first awards were given to David Bowie, The Beatles, and Richard Lester (he was a director for short films for the Beatles). Skip to '86 when Madonna accepted the honor along with filmmaker Zbigniew Rybczyński. '88's star was the award's now-namesake, Michael Jackson, followed by George Michael in '89. Janet Jackson was '90's gal, joining her beloved bro with the honor. Jump to 2011 when pop princess Britney Spears was the wildly popular winner. Her ex, Justin Timberlake snapped it up two years later. Kim K.'s hubby, Kanye West stole the show in '15…too bad Taylor Swift wasn't inclined to steal his thunder. '16 saw Rihanna, '17, P!nk, and this year, J. Lo will take home the shiny statue. A deserving bunch with another hit-maker to add to the impressive list.

J Lopez - 2013Photo by Featureflash Photo Agency (Shutterstock)

Lopez's latest song, "Dinero" is up for some awards too - "Best Collaboration" and "Best Latin Video." Even if she doesn't snag the prize for those, she still walks away the night's biggest winner. Something tells us Michael Jackson is smiling down on her from above.

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